Ivan Stamenković

DOI Number
First page
Last page


The 2016 US Presidential Elections brought about one of the fiercest election campaigns so far, ending in a tight victory of Donald Trump, the Republican candidate, over Hillary Clinton, the candidate of the Democrats. The public appearances Trump made at rallies were one of the main tools he used in profiling himself as the new leader of America. In the light of the unstable situation in the world and the frequent terrorist attacks on Western states, Trump’s rhetoric regarding the issue of “Radical Islamic terrorism” was the key factor that propelled him towards victory (Azarian 2016). When he tackled the problem of terrorism, one of the discourse mechanisms that he used in abundance was a set of conceptual metaphors drawn from different spheres of human experience. The aim of this research will be to contribute to the role metaphor plays in discourse by highlighting some of the most salient and frequent metaphors in Trump’s terrorism rhetoric, including the conceptualizations involved and their conceptual implications in discourse.


conceptual metaphor, terrorism, Donald Trump, ISIS

Full Text:



Allan, K. and Burridge, K. (2006), Forbidden words: Taboo and the censoring of language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Azarian, B., (2016), Research Suggests Anxiety over Terrorism Helped Trump Win. (March 3, 2017)

Borčić, N., (2010), “Konceptualne metafore u političkim intervjuima” [Conceptual Metaphors in Political Interviews], Medijske studije 1(1): pp. 136–155.

Cammaerts, B, (2012), “The Strategic Use of Metaphors by Political and Media Elites: the 2007-11 Belgian Constitutional Crisis”, International journal of media & cultural politics 8 (2/3): pp. 229–249.

Charteris-Black, J., (2004), Corpus Approaches to Critical Metaphor Analysis, Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.

Charteris-Black, J., (2006), “Britain as a Container: Immigration Metaphors in the 2005 Election Campaign”, Discourse & Society 17(5): pp. 563–581.

Charteris-Black, J., (2011), Politics and Rhetoric: The Persuasive Power of Metaphor. 2nd edition, New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Chilton, P. and Ilyin M., (1993), “Metaphor in Political discourse: The Case of the Common European House”, Discourse & Society 4(1). 7–31.

Chilton, P., (2004), Analysing Political Discourse, London and New York: Routledge.

Cudd, A. E., (2007), “Sporting Metaphors: Competition and the Ethos of Capitalism”, Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 34(1): pp. 52–67.

García, M. J. H., (2009), “Fight Metaphors in Spain’s Presidential Speeches: JL Rodríguez Zapatero (2004-2007)”, Revista Alieantina de Estudios Ingleses 22: pp. 127–153.

Garcia, M. J. H., (2010), “Diagnosing Terrorism in Spain: Medical Metaphors in Presidential Discourse”, Southwest Journal of Linguistics 29(1): pp. 53–74.

Hülsse, R. and Spencer, A., (2008), “The Metaphor of Terror: Terrorism Studies and the Constructivist Turn”, Security Dialogue 39(6): pp. 571–592.

Kövecses, Z., (2002), Metaphor. A Practical Introduction, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Kövecses, Z., (2005), Metaphor in Culture: Universality and Variation, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Lakoff, G. and Johnson, M., (1980), Metaphors We Live By. Chicago: Chicago University Press.

Lakoff, G., (1991), “Metaphor and War: the Metaphor System Used to Justify War in the Gulf”, Peace Research 23(2/3): pp. 25–32.

Lakoff, G., Espenson J. and Schwartz, A., (1991), The Master Metaphor List, Technical report, University of California at Berkeley.

Lakoff, G., (1993), “The Contemporary Theory of Metaphor”, In: Ortony A. (ed.) Metaphor and Thought, 2nd edition, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: pp. 202–251.

Lakoff, G., (2001), “Metaphors of terror”, In These Times: pp. 21–24.

Lakoff, G., (2005), War on Terror, Rest in Peace. (March 3, 2017)

Lakoff, G., (2008), The Political Mind: Why You Can’t Understand 21st Century American Politics with an 18th Century Brain, New York: Viking.

Lakoff, G., (2016a), Why Trump? (February 16, 2017)

Lakoff, G., (2016b), Understanding Trump’s Use of Language. (February 16, 2017)

Lakoff, G., (2016c), “Mapping the Brain’s Metaphor Circuitry: Metaphorical Thought in Everyday Reason,” In: Coulson, S. and Lai, V. T. (eds.) The Metaphorical Brain, Lausanne: Frontiers Media.

Landau, M. J. and Keefer, L. A., (2015), “The Persuasive Power of Political Metaphors”, In: Forgas, J. P., Cooper, J. and Crano, W. D. (eds.) Social Psychology and Politics, New York: Psychology Press.

Ma, L. and Liu, A., (2008), “A Universal Approach to Metaphors”, Intercultural Communication Studies 7(1): pp. 260–268.

Mio, J. S., (1997), “Metaphor and politics”, Metaphor and symbol 12(2): pp. 113–133.

Pavlíková, K., (2015), (Counter)terrorism Metaphors in the Speeches of Barack Obama. Unpublished master’s thesis, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic.

Peters, G. and Woolley, J. T., “Donald J. Trump’s 2016 Presidential Election Speeches and Remarks”, The American Presidency Project.

Pillar, R. R., (2015), Syria and the ‘Vacuum’ Metaphor. (March 9, 2016)

Pragglejazz Group, (2007), “MIP: a Method for Identifying Metaphorically Used Words in Discourse”, Metaphor and Symbol 22: pp. 1–39.

Sclafani, J., (2016), The Idiolect of Donald Trump. (February 14, 2016)



  • There are currently no refbacks.

ISSN 0354-4702 (Print)

ISSN 2406-0518 (Online)